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Over 30,000 acres under military and state occupation in Mannar

A total of 32,855 acres of land in Mannar is occupied by either security forces or government agencies, according to statistics published by the Mannar District Secretariat.

Publishing in response to a Right to Information (RTI) request, the secretariat said 2,271 acres of state land and 312 acres of private land was occupied by the Sri Lankan army and navy.

13,890 acres of state land and 2,920 acres of private land was occupied by the forest department; 10,304 acres of state land and 3,145 acres of private land by the department of wildlife; and 11 acres of state land and 2 acres of private land occupied by the archaeology department.

Tamils in the North-East have long argued that other than the military forces, government agencies - in particular the forest department and the archaeology department - have acted as a front for land-grabs and Sinhalisation.

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